Structured Public-Private Sector Dialogue: The Experience from Botswana
The Cotonou Partnership Agreement provides a range of new opportunities for the ACP private sector. From now on, the ACP private sector is expected to participate in political dialogue, national and regional programming, and the formulation and implementation of EC cooperation policies. In return, the private sector will have easier access to funding and capacity-building support. In this new environment conducive to private-sector development, an ACP Business Forum was created in 1998 as a loose-knit private-sector network to promote dialogue and articulate private-sector interests within the existing ACP private-sector associations and with ACP and EU authorities.
In this context, the ACP Business Forum secured funds from the EC for a pilot project on structured dialogue between the public and private sectors. The project was carried out in various parts of the ACP and the EU. Its aim was to promote, capitalise on and disseminate lessons from experiences with structured public-private dialogue at different levels with a view to ensuring greater participation of the private sector in policy-making and implementation of ACP-EU cooperation.